For the first time since Kevin Durant chose the Golden State Warriors in free agency, he will be back on the same team as Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook in the 2017 NBA All-Star Game.
Duarnt and Westbrook played together for eight seasons in Oklahoma City from the 2008-09 season to the 2015-16 season. In that time, Durant saw Westbrook become famous for his explosive and ferocious dunks.
"Best in-game dunker would probably be ... uh, Westbrook," Durant said on ESPN's "The Jump."
Durant will start for the Western Conference, along with Warriors point guard Stephen Curry. Westbrook, who is averaging a triple-double this season, is coming off Steve Kerr's bench. Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson and Draymond Green will also start the game on the bench, rounding out Golden State's four All-Stars.
Westrbrook was asked about Durant Friday by the media, but instead turned to fashion with his answers.
How the two interract on the court, if Kerr puts them both on the floor at the same time, is a sight to be seen on Sunday in New Orleans.
The Warriors have been without Stephen Curry for six full games and all but the first two minutes of a seventh. The last three were less out of medical necessity than an abundance of caution.
Curry could, however, return as soon as Friday when the Atlanta Hawks visit Oracle Arena, multiple sources disclosed to NBC Sports Bay Area on Monday night. ESPN, citing league sources, was first to report the team’s plan.
The two-time MVP’s right ankle is scheduled to be reevaluated Tuesday, after which time a firm return date is expected.
Curry was physically able to play -- and actually pushed to return -- last weekend, according to league sources. But the Warriors, looking ahead to the playoffs and seeing diminished value in the remaining regular-season games, opted to continue rehabilitation in hopes of maximizing support for the area around his ankle.
The Warriors have described Curry’s injury not as a sprain but a “tweak,” implying less severity.
Though the Warriors won the game in which Curry was hurt, 110-107 over the Spurs on March 8, they have since lost four of six, including 89-75 on Monday in San Antonio.
The Warriors arrived early Tuesday morning and won’t practice Tuesday afternoon and are contemplating skipping an official practice on Wednesday.
The Warriors, averaging a league-leading 115.5 points per game this season, saw that figure drop to 103.3 during Curry’s six-game absence.
Already down three All-Stars, the Warriors lost their fourth midway through the first half on Monday night.
With just over nine minutes remaining in the second quarter against the Spurs, Draymond Green took a knee from a driving Danny Green.
Draymond was in immediate pain and left the court for the locker room.
Just before the end of the first half, NBC Sports Bay Area's Kerith Burke reported that Green was ruled out for the rest of the game with a "midsection issue."
Early in the second half, the Warriors diagnosed that Green suffered a pelvic contusion and that x-rays were negative.
The Warriors are currently playing without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant. All three are dealing with injuries that will keep them out several games.